Delhi is rapidly turning into a hubfor drug trade. In the past six months, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), together with the Special Cell of Delhi Police—both functioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)—has seized drugs worth Rs 300 crore in the national capital.
According to the anti-smuggling cell of the NCB, starting from January 2017 till July this year, the NCB, working jointly with the special cell of the Delhi Police, has seized drugs worth Rs 300 crore.
However, denying the allegation that drug trade has been rising in the city, an NCB official said that the NCB’s alertness has helped to crack down on the drug trade in the city and cartels are being busted. “The NCB has become strong and that is the reason why we are busting one or the other drug cartel the country. The Centre wants to strengthen the NCB to combat illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, which is fuelling terrorism on Indian soil,” a senior NCB official said on the condition of anonymity.
“The government is more concerned about the connection between drugs and terror financing that is being seen across the country and this is the reason why the NCB was recently sanctioned over 200 staff from the intelligence agencies of the country,” the same official cited above said.
Responding to The Sunday Guardian’s queries regarding why, despite the seizures, drugs are freely available in the capital, the official cited above said there was a need for increased intervention of the police to curb retail drug peddling. “The NCB has limited resources and we cannot be present everywhere, something which the police can easily do. The policing system in the capital needs to be more serious about this. They need to take action against the small drug peddlers who do not come on our radar,” the official said.
Till now, the NCB used to have all officers—from intelligence officers to the Director General—on deputation. Now, to ensure that officers develop long-time information networks, more hiring is being done on a permanent basis. Another senior NCB official said: “It is a long chain of drug traffickers running from Afghanistan through Pakistan to Delhi and other cities of the country and there is no doubt that the entire drug trafficking in the country has a narco-terror link.” He added that trafficking of drugs from Southwest Asia to India is gaining ground as is trafficking of hashish and cannabis from India to the world.